Candidates Had Facebookers Fired Up During Final Debate

Newt Gingrich kicked off CNN's Southern Republican debate with a tirade against the media, and the passion didn't let up on stage or on Facebook, with posts going up at a rate of one every 10 seconds during the debate's peak.

Newt Gingrich kicked off CNN’s Southern Republican debate with a tirade against the media, and the passion didn’t let up on stage or on Facebook, with posts going up at a rate of one every 10 seconds during the debate’s peak.

It’s the last time the candidates would be together before Saturday’s key South Carolina primary. Highlights follow below.

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich railed against CNN moderator at the top of the debate in response to a question about his ex-wife’s interview with ABC News. That outburst not only resulted in a standing ovation from the audience, but also had Facebook users sharing the video clip of the attack in their posts, at a rate of one post every minute.

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney’s comments about living in the real streets of America and his answer about the timing of his tax return release — which resulted in boos from the crowd — were echoed on Facebook. One Facebook post read,

Hey Mitt, would one of those streets happen to be Wall Street and Easy Street?

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum knocked Newt Gingrich for having “grandiose” ideas when he was Speaker. The former senator had a solid debate performance, standing strong on his pro-life stance and defending SOPA and internet regulation. One post summed up his performance this way:

Rick Santorum 2012! Let’s hire the government as our babysitter, right? Because apparently we’re all fucking 3 years old and cannot make our own decisions, so we need people like Rick Santorum to make sure we don’t do anything he doesn’t like in bed or on the internet.

Ron Paul

Although Ron Paul was largely silent in this debate, he did have a few moments that his large fan base on Facebook didn’t overlook. Following an exchange with Rick Santorum over abortion, the clip was shared over and over again on the social network with the headline, “Paul Schools Santorum During GOP Debate.”

Another Facebook user said:

Santorum hurry up and drop out. You are a moron and attacking Ron Paul won’t help you.

Some polls show Gingrich either leading in the Palmetto state, or closing the gap before Saturday’s primary.

Readers, who do you think will win the Republican nomination for president?